Wrestling gears up for new era

Pro league kicks off today

Wrestling gears up for new era

A sport, which has prided in its unaltered Indian heritage through the time, is set to enter the world of glitz and glamour.

The Pro-Wrestling League (PWL) is yet another addition to the flourishing league structure in India, aspiring to popularise the sport, as its first leg kicks-off at the KD Jadhav Stadium from December 10-12.

The league features a host of domestic and overseas wrestlers representing six city-based franchises. An initiative of ProSportify and Wrestling Federation of India, PWL has been touted the richest wrestling event ever. The league in the inaugural year offers a totla prize purse of Rs 15 crore including Rs 3 crore for the winning side.

Dilli Veer and Punjab Royal will play the inaugural match on Thursday. Haryana Hammers, Mumbai Garuda, UP Warriors and Bengaluru Yodhas are the other teams in the league.

All top Indian wrestlers are part of the league, naming double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar (UP Warriors), London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt (Haryana Hammers), who attracted the highest bid at Rs 39.70 lakh and top woman wrestler Geeta Phogat (Punjab Royals).

The league, however, has been hit by the news of Sushil’s withdrawal fearing injury. A confirmation from the organisers is yet to come while Sushil, who is the icon player for UP, remained unavailable for comment.

The news has set the tongues wagging about his reluctance to play Narsingh Yadav, who went to JSW Group owned Bengaluru Yodha. Narsingh, who like Sushil competes in 74 kg, had bagged the Olympic quota in the World championships.

With there being only one representation for the specified weight category, for the Olympics, The Indian Wrestling Federation is likely to pit the two wrestlers against each other before taking a call.

After the opening leg in Delhi, the league would leave for Ludhiana where Punjab Royals will play their home matches at the Guru Nanak Indoor Stadium from December 13-15.

Haryana Hammers would be hosting the league in Gurgaon from December 16-18, Noida's Uttar Pradesh Gautam Buddh University-Eklavya Sports Complex will organise the event on December 19-20 for Warriors' home-leg. The teams will go to Reliance Studio, Film City, for Mumbai’s home matches on December 21 and 22.

The Koramangala indoor stadium will host the event on December 23 and 24 for Bengaluru Yodhas' home matches before heading back here for the knockouts.

The semifinals will be held on December 25 and 26 and the final on December 27.The League will be played under the PWL Rules, based on Olympic rules in conjunction with Wrestling Federation of India rules.

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